Sanjay (name changed), a 7 year old boy was facing difficulty in walking. He kept dragging his right leg for the last two weeks and also found it challenging to use his right hand. Coupled with these difficulties, Sanjay was experiencing slurred speeches and abnormal movements. As a result, his routine activities were affected to a great extent. These events compelled his parents to seek medical advice, and start his medication. Post careful observation for a period of time, his parents did not find any significant improvements despite the medications. Sanjay was then referred to Dr. Usha Mallinath, Pediatric Neurologist and Pediatrician, Manipal Hospitals, Whitefield.
Upon consultation, an in-depth diagnosis was conducted with an MRI scan of the brain, an MRV/MRA, and blood diagnosis. It was found that Sanjay suffered from hemiparesis (weakness of one entire side of the body) on the right-side along with abnormal movements, which were most likely chorea. Dr. Usha immediately optimized his medications and initiated rehabilitation therapies simultaneously.
A two-week follow up procedure was followed to assess the improvements and identify any drawbacks from the medications. It was observed that there was a significant improvement in Sanjay’s abnormal movements. Timely medications and continued therapies showed tremendous progress within a span of two months. Sanjay can now speak without any difficulty and the issue with abnormal movements has been resolved.
Dr. Usha Mallinath states, “Watching your child have a seizure can be scary and stressful for parents. Hence it is highly essential to learn what to do if your child has a seizure. The next is to teach others who may be with your child when you’re not around. However, most of the seizures are self-limited, meaning they will stop on their own within few minutes. The most important thing to do when a child has a seizure is keep the child safe during the event.” Here is a list of do’s and don’ts:
- Prevent injury to the child by moving sharp or dangerous objects away from the child. If the child is wandering or confused during the seizure, protect them from dangers such as open water, streets , intersections and stairways
- Make the child comfortable. Loosen any tight clothing around neck or waist. If the child standing help them lay down in a safe area
- Turn the child gently towards one side to prevent choking
- Place something soft and flat under the child’s head (pillow, folded jacket or sweater) to prevent injury to head
- Stay calm! Although frightening to watch, seizures are usually not dangerous to the child and will resolve within a couple of minutes. If you are able to remain calm, it will reduce panic in others around you, and help the child to feel less worried after the seizure.
- Pay attention to how long the seizure lasts. Use a watch and time the seizure. Most seizures will resolve in a few minutes. However, if a seizure is prolonged (usually meaning more than 5 minutes), it may be necessary use a rescue medicine or call for help. Your Pediatric Neurologist will give you specific instructions on when to call for help or use a rescue medicine and the dose of medication
- Treat the child in a sensitive and caring manner and encourage others to do the same. The child may feel embarrassed or confused about the seizure. Explain to them in a very simple way what has happened once they are alert and able to understand depending on the age of the child.
- DO NOT forcibly hold the child down, even if they seem confused or having a convulsion. This can lead to increased agitation and aggression, or even injury, during a seizure
- Do NOT put anything in the child’s mouth! This increases risk of mouth injury and choking
- Do NOT give any water, pills, or food until the child has fully regained consciousness
- Try to stop any movements or tongue-biting
When to get Medical Attention
You should seek for immediate medical care if:
- It is the child’s first seizure
- The seizure lasts more than five minutes
- The seizure happened in water that the child may have swallowed
- There is a concern for head or other body injury
- The child is having trouble breathing after the seizure
- Seizures are occurring closer together than is usual for your child
- Your child is having “back-to-back” seizures without waking up in between
- Rescue medications are not stopping or controlling the seizures
– Dr. Usha Mallinath